going home

July 8, 2014 § 17 Comments

Flying Geese

wild geese call

in the evening air –

a tear falls


Image courtesy Mary Oliver


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§ 17 Responses to going home

  • mikesteeden says:

    ‘Going Home’ – the title of one of my favourite Leonard Cohen songs and now the title of your magical poem of the same sentiment.

    • Rachael Charmley says:

      My husband loves his songs… will ask him. Trouble is he’ll want to play it to me, and I’ll want to lie on a sofa and groan miserably 🙂

  • I love your haiku, especially this one on geese. it evokes such dignity, grace, and loss all at once. It is fantastic work.

    • Rachael Charmley says:

      Thank you. I love writing them, love capturing the moment. I started writing haiku a few months ago, and am so enjoying watching them develop and grow 🙂

      • I started writing haiku recently too:) I must add that I love how you incorporate a photo. I think they’re so beautiful in their simplicity. And they are well suited to writing online.

        • Rachael Charmley says:

          I like having a photo too, although I’m aware that a haiku should be able to stand alone without either image or title. Nevertheless, it’s a good exercise on trying to achieve some balance…

  • SirenaTales says:

    Achingly lovely, Rachael. Side note: when I saw the photo credit to Mary Oliver, it reminded me of her “Wild Geese,” so I reread your poem in the context of that poem (a personal favorite) and it made for a very different experience. The tear became one of relief and hope. Thanks for the early morning inspiration! xoxo

    • Rachael Charmley says:

      My pleasure, Chloe. I’ve just been watching a flock of barnacle geese down by the river. I was looking at some cows up to their knees in water trying to keep cool when I spotted them. The geese are like dancers, ballerinas. They stretch and bend, they sink gracefully to the ground, then rise; they seem to operate as one, always conscious of what the others are doing. It was captivating, and I thought of you. xxx

      • SirenaTales says:

        How lovely! And I am so touched that you thought of me. As you may know, we dancers take our inspiration from the geese and their feathered kin by “flocking.” It is challenging, but made easier by really tuning in to the other dancers and their energy as we sense each other (using peripheral vision is acceptable, but we cannot turn our heads to see where the leader is going/what she’s doing). Thanks for another helping of inspiration, my friend!

        • Rachael Charmley says:

          I had no idea about the ‘flocking’. They weren’t watching one another, but were aware of the others all the time. That really is fascinating. I suppose murmuration is a refined version…

  • I love the almost contradictory nature of the geese’s return and their sorrow at something lost. Bit of a Cohen fan, but I did chuckle at your comment!
    Your poem brought to mind part of a lyric by (perhaps) my favourite band of all time ‘And Also The Trees’. It’s a description that I wish that I had come up with –
    ‘And the wind in your bare ribs
    Uttered still the tunes of lovers
    In the geese vee’d sky’
    Take care, Chris.

    • Rachael Charmley says:

      That’s interesting you thought the geese were crying. That wasn’t what I intended – and that is why haiku continue to excite me. I listen to “And Also The Trees’ as I write. I had not heard of them. How could that have happened? They are extraordinary and so haunting – and I so like the lyrics you quote. I am always drawn to the underground, those on the edge, the perimeter. Gosh – bringing back memories. Do you remember ‘Gong’ ?
      Fear not about Mr. Cohen. I rather like him actually, but it’s always immensely satisfying to wind up ‘Mike the great satirist’. 🙂

      • That’s one of the things that I love about poetry – seeing how people interpret it in different ways. I personally enjoy seeing how people interpret my own writing as it helps me to look at it in different ways.
        As for ‘And Also The Trees’, I have followed their career since they first started in the very early ’80’s. Although quintessentially English they have remained somewhat ‘underground’ over here, whilst having greater success in mainland Europe. Sadly I have only seen them perform live once, in an intimate gig in Cheltenham – phenomenal atmosphere. I an enthused that you are enjoying what you have listened to – well worth exploring in more depth if you have the time.
        I do remember ‘Gong’ (vaguely). Nothing like a bit of prog-rock!
        Thanks for getting back to me, and happy listening. Take care, Chris.

  • Miranda Stone says:

    I’ve enjoyed reading all the comments about this poem. I interpreted it to mean that the observer watching the geese is the one weeping, perhaps from nostalgia, or homesickness, or even a lack of belonging. A lot of emotion in three very short lines! Well done, Rachael.

    • Rachael Charmley says:

      It was my intention that the narrator was both the onlooker and the one weeping; I regard it as something of a compliment to hear other interpretations. Hope all well with you, and hoping the bad weather has passed 🙂

  • sherinsk says:

    Lovely i guess then you might like something similar from me-

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